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FSCS Claims Frequently Asked Questions

by | Jul 29, 2017 | Firm News, International Real Estate, London |

FAQs for Instant Access Properties/IAP/Inside Track and FUEL Victims who used Mortgage Funds or Pension Funds

Please see our related 2017 article on Instant Access Properties and Fuel Investments for a detailed summary of which Instant Access Properties/IAP/Inside Track and FUEL victims are eligible to make a Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”) Claim:

Q.    What is the FSCS and what is a FSCS claim?

A.    According to its own website, the FSCS “is the UK’s compensation fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms.”  A claim is a formal request for compensation where an authorized UK financial services “firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it.”

Q.    How do I know if I can make a FSCS claim?

A.     Although the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provides compensation related to various aspects of the UK financial services industry, for IAP/Fuel victims we believe that the applicable options are Option 1. Mortgage Misselling – based upon advice to use mortgage funds to pay deposits or other amounts, for off-plan/preconstruction units anywhere in the world, and Option 2. Use of Pension Funds – for any of the same purposes.  For more details, please see our article providing more detail at: FSCS Claims

Q.    If I am eligible how much can I recover.

A.     Although the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provides compensation related to various aspects of the UK financial services industry, UTFPA believes that the Mortgage Misselling and use of Pension Funds are the most applicable to IAP/Fuel victims and are capped at a maximum compensation allowance of GBP 50,000 per purchaser (other amounts apply to other areas of FSCS applicability).

Q.    Why am I hearing about this opportunity for further recovery now – after all of these years?

A.    It was not until 2013 that a UK Appellate Court ruled, in the case of Emptage v FSCS [2013] EWCA Civ 729, that the FSCS must pay these types of mortgage misselling and pension fund use claims.  Prior to Emptage, the FSCS routinely denied such claims.  After carefully observing more test cases successfully work their way through the FSCS system, conferring with UTFPA clients with successful claims, and doing other due diligence, including vetting of claims companies, UTFPA is now confident that the FSCS claim Options 1 and 2 are solid avenues for further recovery for eligible UTFPA clients and others who are eligible IAP/Fuel victims.

Q.    How much time do I have to decide whether I want to make a FSCS claim?

A.    The time bars and statutes of limitations for making a FSCS claim are not clear and may depend on a case by case “when the client knew or should have known” fact analysis.  However, given the amount of time that has passed, time bars are approaching and it is critical that you take prompt action.  Accordingly, UTFPA encourages all UTFPA clients and other IAP/Fuel victims who believe that they may be eligible for FSCS compensation to promptly contact UTFPA and work with UTFPA to start the screening process to determine eligibility.

Q.    What if my claim is lost or denied by the FSCS?

A.    Because a FSCS claim is not a UK lawsuit, a denial of your claim will not result in a cost or fees award being entered against you.  Additionally, UTFPA works together with the top UK claims company, in this area of FSCS claims, which ensures that all clients’ potential claims are thoroughly screened and that only properly prepared and supported claims are submitted to the FSCS.

Q.    Do I need to use UTFPA or a claims company to make a claim?

A.    No, the FSCS allows and encourages you to make your own claim directly to the FSCS.  However, for a number of reasons, we strongly caution anyone from doing so because:  1) If your claim is denied, resubmitting your claim is an appeal process (not simply a re-submitting of a better claim and may require appealing via a UK Court) – so best to work with an experienced team that can assist you in making a strong claim from the start.  2) Experience counts – working with UTFPA and the top UK claims company ensures that your claim includes the elements required by the Emptagedecision and otherwise includes the elements that experience shows make for a successful FSCS claim.  3)  UTFPA knows firsthand from its own clients that it is very helpful and reassuring to work with an experienced team that can assist in identifying relevant (and disregarding irrelevant) documents needed to support the claim, writing up the actual claim and working the supporting documents into the claim.  4)  UTFPA feels it is a very important point that the UK claims company, that it works with, also works with the same legal team that won the Emptage decision, forcing the FSCS to fully compensate eligible IAP/Fuel victims.

Q.    Exactly how much does it cost me in fees, costs, etc. to work with UTFPA and the top UK claims company to work with me to prepare and make a FSCS claim?

A.    UTFPA and the top UK claims company work as a team with a single No Win No Fee (contingency fee) of 25% plus VAT, which includes all fees and costs whatsoever.  Unless you recover funds via your FSCS claim, you pay absolutely nothing.  It is also important to note that the top UK claims company charges the same 25% plus VAT fee regardless of whether you work through UTFPA or go directly to the UK claims company.  Accordingly, for the same fee, UTFPA provides another level of accountability and a UTFPA United Kingdom Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) registered foreign lawyer to turn to with any questions or concerns.

If you wish to pursue a FSCS claim, PLEASE LET US KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE by completing the “Contact Us” form.  For those who do, we will immediately connect you with the top UK claims company team and assist you in moving your claim forward.  Your agreement will be with the UK claims company, which will further review all documentation to determine your eligibility.
Please include your email address and your full name in the subject line of your communications with UTFPA.  Please feel free to share this information with others who may be eligible for recovery.  We encourage you to become informed of your rights and options. You should also ensure that any law firm or claims company you consult or retain to represent you has the experience, resources and ability to take your case through trial and appellate courts, if necessary.

by John L. Urban shareholder
United Kingdom Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) registered foreign lawyer